NEWS

LTA 2 Sent On Leave Pending Inquiry 

Two senior officers of the Land Transport Authority have been sent on leave pending investigations over allegations of abuse of office and corruption. It is understood there are 27 complaints
03 Sep 2016 09:45
LTA 2 Sent On Leave Pending Inquiry 
From left: Filipe Roko and Sidhart Nand with driving school operators Umesh Chand, Abdul Shahid, Salesh Prakash, Ramnik Lal and Ram Bali waiting to get their clients’ driving test done at Valelevu LTA yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Two senior officers of the Land Transport Authority have been sent on leave pending investigations over allegations of abuse of office and corruption.

It is understood there are 27 complaints against one of them.

The crackdown comes in the wake of a Fiji Sun report of an alleged driving licence scam involving some driving schools and LTA officers.

LTA Board chairman, lawyer Vijay Maharaj, confirmed the two officers were  under investigation.

“I am aware of the two staff sent on leave and LTA is conducting an internal investigation regarding the allegations,” Mr Maharaj said.

Mr Maharaj said he did not have the authority to send staff on leave while corruption claims were investigated.

“The LTA chief executive officer is the one who has the authority to send staff on leave,” Mr Maharaj said.

The chief executive officer, Naisa Tuinaceva, could not be reached to comment last night.

The Minister for Transport, Parveen Kumar, referred queries to Mr Maharaj. When the Fiji Sun published the alleged driving licence scam report three weeks ago, Mr Kumar said heads would roll if officers were found guilty.

In a survey conducted at random, the Fiji Sun had uncovered an alleged scam where an LTA examiner said he was prepared to accept $550 in cash to give the employee a full driving licence without sitting a Defensive Driving Course (DDC).

Five driving school instructors who were also interviewed at random said that licence would be given whether the employee passed or failed the driving test, claiming they had connections at LTA.

It appears LTA has also tightened its driving tests after the Fiji Sun report. On Thursday, a 17-year-old female learner, who had passed both her written and practical driving tests, was rejected by the senior official in charge. The officer, according to the learner,  told her she was too young and too short. The learner reported the matter to Police who then advised her to go back to LTA and sought a good reason why she was not accepted.

This was not the first case, it is understood.

 

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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